Over the course if the next several weeks, I will be publishing my story, as wife, mother, sister and daughter. This is the evolution of how a little girl can change the course of her mother’s story, can change the course of her heart. If your new to this blog, please begin here.
Peaceful and happy – how she’s spends most evenings…snuggling with Daddy
Chapter 22 ~ The Sound of My Daughter’s “Yes”
November 1, 2004
Courtney was escorted through the double doors and I felt my heart break. I was barely hanging on when Jerry slipped his hand in mine and quietly reassured me that she would be fine. I had spent the last hours going over everything that could go wrong. I hated letting her go. It was the scariest damn feeling in the world, not knowing how she would be when she returned.
Would this really help her? We would have to wait and see.
“This is the hardest part Mar. Watching her go. They have done this surgery thousands of times. She will be fine. It’s two cuts and she will be fine. The surgeon is the best. God is with her. Your Dad is with her. It will be OK.”
“OK.” I nodded and wiped the tears from my eyes. “Coffee. I need coffee.”
He smiled, “That is something I can fix. How long did the nurse say it would take?”
“Total? Two hours I think. We can have coffee in the waiting room. We can watch the OR board to see where she is in the process. That way we’ll know when she is out of surgery and in recovery. Once she begins to wake up we can see her. If she does really well and doesn’t seize, we might be able to take her home tonight. We’ll see.” I answered.
We found coffee and headed back to the OR waiting room. I tried to settle in for the wait. I was restless and worried about Courtney. This time felt different for some reason. I grabbed my note pad and Bible out of my bag. I needed to calm myself down and pray for my girl. I opened the book to Psalm 107, took a deep breath and read. I closed my eyes asking my Dad to be with Courtney, to not let her feel afraid. Suddenly I felt someone squeeze my shoulder just like Dad used to do.
I opened my eyes and looked at Jerry.
“What?” he asked.
I looked around the room. We were the only ones sitting on our side of the waiting room. I shook my head and smiled. “Nothing” I said.
Daddy…you’re here…I really miss you…Why do I feel so unsettled Dad? Help me please…help me figure it out…
I read the Psalm again and then I got out my notebook and reread some of my notes from the past weekends retreat. I came across the notes from Fr. Joe’s last talk about redemptive suffering and healing. He had told us that the church teaches three things.
First, there are times of miraculous healing, meaning that a person is ill, they pray for God’s intercession and they are healed of their ailment. This would usually leave the medical establishment confused and unable to explain why or how this happened. We had prayed for this at Lourdes and it was not God’s will for Courtney.
Second, there would be healing after a time of suffering. For example, someone is diagnosed with cancer, they undergo chemo (most definitely a time of suffering) and after a time there would be healing. I had friends who were sick and prayed their way through, offering up physical suffering for those that need prayer support including Courtney.
Third, there is an acceptance of the suffering knowing that there will be no healing here on earth but only when we see the face of God.
I read that line again…then again…then again. My heart started to beat faster.
“Holy Crap” I said.
“What?” Jerry asked lifting his head form his spy thriller. “Is she in the OR? Has the board changed?” he was straining his neck to see where she was on the board. Her status had not changed yet. It was still early.
The he looked at me. I had tears in my eyes. “What is it Mary? Your crying. Honey, I told you it will be OK. I promise.” He took my hand.
“No, you don’t understand. Read this…just read this.”
He did. He looked up and shook his head. “OK. What am I missing?”
“What are we missing? I am amazed at God’s patience with fools like us.”
“Remember when we were in Lourdes and Courtney went into the water, then we followed.”
“Remember the word that was given to both of us at the same time.”
“Jer, who went into the water first?”
“Read it again.” I said pointing to the notepad.
As he did I watched his eyes get bigger. “Shit. This can’t be–Mary.”
I smiled and shook my head…”Yes, it can be Jerry. It was the only time we were completely open to God’s voice. We had prayed for a miracle, we had other praying with us, storming those gates on her behalf. It was our daughter’s voice we heard. She can’t speak in a language the world understands Jer. She needed help telling us. God let us hear her voice. She knows Jer. She knows and accepts that there won’t be any healing here. She wants us to know that as well. How fitting that it’s today, while she’s in surgery. She knows it the last thing available to help her here on earth. How else can you explain everything that has happened? Her peaceful nature, the absolute joy she exudes to everyone around her, the way she draws people to her, the way her witness of peace and acceptance of circumstance brings people to their knees in prayerful support. She said “Yes” to God Jerry. Somewhere along the way she said “yes” and she needed us to know that it’s OK. She has accepted her cross. Remember when the Knight of Malta told us that miracles start in Lourdes and it may take time for us to fully understand what has happened? Four years babe. Four!”
Hi mouth was opening and closing like a fish. “I…I…I don’t know what to say. I thought it was about us accepting her, but you’re right. We had always accepted her. We have accepted everything that has happened since. It was all about us accepting the fact that she knows what her job is. To bring people closer to God. To show them HIS face. That’s why your Dad kept telling us to wait for the answer. It wasn’t all explained yet. He knew.”
“Of course he did. He had done the same thing. He said “yes” to God knowing that one day his healing would only come from Our Lord. I bet you that’s what he whispered to her that last day when he said goodbye. Holy cow…no one is going to believe us. No one. This is just crazy, but I know in my soul that is what acceptance means…what it really means.“
“That doesn’t matter Mary. We believe it. We heard it. We have prayed about it. We will be her arms and legs, her voice when she needs to be heard. She will show us the way God needs her to go. You were right. Everything changed today. We have a job to do and so does she.”
We spent the next 90 minutes in prayer. We said the Rosary, read scripture together and prayed for clarification. We had heard the sound of our daughter’s “yes” to God. She had accepted her cross and she needed us to walk with her, to help her tell the story of God’s mercy and love.
Finally, the Neurosurgeon emerged and greeted us with a big smile. We stood up and shook his hand.
“She did really well. No seizures. Everything went beautifully. She is a strong young lady. The nurse will come and get you when it’s time to go back. I don’t anticipate any problems in recovery. You should be able to take her home tonight.”
We thanked him profusely…actually I hugged him. The day was getting better and better.
When we were finally allowed back in recovery, I dropped down the side of Courtney’s bed and climbed in next to her. She was blinking and turning her head still groggy from the anesthesia.
“Hey sweet girl,” I said softly. “It’s Mama. Daddy’s here too. The Doctor said you were a rock star baby girl. Guess what happened while you were asleep? We figured it out Courtney. It only took four years but we did it. You said “yes” to God didn’t you? In Lourdes when daddy and I heard acceptance while we were in the water, that was you letting us know you were OK. I love you so much. Daddy loves you so much. As long as you fight, we will fight with you. You lead the way Courtney. Jonathan, Daddy and I will follow. You tell us when it’s time to see Jesus, OK?”
She turned her head, opened her eyes fully and looked right at me with a smile the size of Texas.
Tears streamed down my face. ‘Yes, baby. Ma’s here. I will always be here. I love you.”
*** Epilogue #1…click here…thank you***
Copyright 2011 ~ Mary E. Lenaburg
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